Arbeitsbereich: Sociology

Christian Koß

22. October 2022

Christian Koß is research associate at the department of Social Sciences at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf. He holds a bachelor‘s degree in Sociology and a master‘s degree in Social Research from the University of Bremen. Before moving to the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, he was employed at the University of Stuttgart in the third-party funded project ‚ABD – Aufbruch, Abbruch oder Durchbruch?  Einflussfaktoren auf wissenschaftliche Karriereverläufe in den Natur- und Sozialwissenschaften‘ Currently, he is coordinating the third-party funded project ‘Discourse Data for Policy’ together with colleagues at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.

For his dissertation, Christian Koß works in the field of computational social science and explores artificial intelligence methods for the analysis of political discourse and dynamics. His research focuses on network analysis and machine learning.

Dr. Stefanie Lütters

26. July 2022

Dr. Stefanie Lütters is a research assistant at DIID. In her phD thesis she analyzed the influence of social networks on political participation in contrasting social spaces. Previously, she studied Social Sciences at the University of Cologne (B.Sc.) and at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (M.A.).

Her research interests are in political sociology, especially in the areas of social and political inequality, social capital, and the impact of digitalization on political participation.

Bettina Ülpenich

1. March 2022

Bettina Ülpenich is research assistant at the Chair of Sociology I and II of the Institute of Social Sciences at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. After having graduated in graphic design technology and economics & politics she studied sociology at the University of Wuppertal and finished in 2013 with a master degree. Her PhD thesis dealt with the construction of categories of persons in the course of the refugee crises.

Her research interests are the sociology of categorization, gender studies and trends in higher education.

Dr. Johannes Krause

3. March 2021

Dr. Johannes Krause is research assistant at the Chair of Sociology II since 2011. He studied Social Sciences at the University of Cologne and completed a part-time Master of Business Administration in 2019.

His research interests are physical attractiveness and the (un-)fair determinants of educational trajectories.

Anna Gaßner

14. May 2020

Anna Gaßner is a research assistant at the Chair of Sociology II of the Institute of Social Sciences at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. She studied Political Science (after Wolfgang Abendroth) at the Philipps-Universität Marburg (B.A.) and at the University of Cologne (M.A.). Her dissertation dealt with political right-wing participation and the mobilisation potential of extremist actors.

Her research focuses on gender studies as well as on political attitudes and political behaviour in the field of political sociology. One research interest is the connection between technology, digitalisation and gender. Specifically, how advancing digitalisation reinforces and produces gender inequalities.

Marco Wähner

21. March 2018

Marco Wähner is a research assistant at the Social Science Department and PhD-Student (NRW Forschungskolleg Online-Partizipation) at the Heinrich Heine University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Germanistik and Political Science and a master’s degree in social science from Duesseldorf.

In his master’s thesis he examined internet-specific resources as a predictor of political (online) participation.  Previously, he worked as a student assistant (WHB) at DIID especially on the YOUniversity project.  His research interests lie in the determination of success and explanation factors as well as the impact analysis of participation procedures at the local level.



Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ulf Tranow

21. March 2018

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ulf Tranow is assistant professor of Sociology at the Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf since 2013.

His research interests include sociological theories of action, social mechanisms of normative integration as well as problems of collective good and their solutions. At DIID, he is interested in the social, societal and institutional conditions for building political confidence in conflicting online deliberation processes.

Prof. Dr. Michael Baurmann

20. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Michael Baurmann is a Senior Professor for Sociology at the University of Duesseldorf. He studied sociology, philosophy and law. He has been visiting professor in Australia (ANU), Mexico (ITAM) and the United States (NYU) and was senior research fellow at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg in Greifswald in 2009 and 2013. He is the current Managing Director of the DIID.

His main research interests are general theory of sociology, rational choice theory, social epistemology, and the epistemic dimensions of democracy. At the DIID he is interested in inovative systems for online deliberation and argumentation.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rosar (vice speaker)

12. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rosar has held one of three chairs of sociology within the Department of Social Sciences since 2010. Since 2015, he has been Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf.

In teaching and research he mainly focuses on questions of political sociology, the sociological analysis of inequality, and the methodology of empirical social sciences.

Dr. Malte Steinbach

12. March 2018

Dr. Malte Steinbach supervised the DIID as scientific coordinator from April 2019 to April 2020. He wrote his dissertation at the Chair of Business Administration, in particular Labor, Human Resources and Organization at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf within the framework of the NRW Progress College Online Participation. At the University of Bonn he studied geography with the subsidiary subjects urban planning and economics.

In his master thesis he investigated the topic of e-participation in urban development using the city of Bonn as an example. His research deals with the providers of online participation processes from an organizational theory perspective. In his PhD, he investigated the diffusion of online participation in public organizations based on neoinstitutionalist organizational theories.

Since 2020, Dr. Malte Steinbach is project manager at DIID cooperation partner Zebralog in Bonn.

Dr. Bastian Rottinghaus

8. March 2018

Bastian Rottinghaus worked as a research assistant at the DIID of Heinrich Heine University between October 2016 and December 2019. He studied Social Sciences (B.A. and M.A.) in Düsseldorf. From 2010 onwards, he was initially employed as a research assistant at the Chair of Sociology II at Heinrich Heine University. In his dissertation, submitted in 2015, he dealt with the empirical measurement of aspects of political competence and their effects on political participatory action. His work at the DIID focused on collaborating on a comprehensive research project on the effects and influencing factors of municipal online participation in a comparative perspective and, in a follow-up project, on the continuation of the DIID Monitor.

In his current position at the DJI in Halle, he is involved as a researcher in the evaluation of the federal programme “Demokratie leben!”.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tobias Escher

5. March 2018

Tobias Escher leads a junior research group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, focused on the effects of citizen participation on quality and legitimacy of political decisions regarding the transformation towards sustainable mobility, in particular on the local level. Previously he has managed both the Düsseldorf Institute for Internet and Democracy (DIID) and the PhD programme on local level online participation (NRW Forschungskolleg) of Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf. His research interests are the design and evaluation of participatory processes online and offline. His particular focus is the potential contribution of citizen participation for increasing the quality and legitimacy/acceptance of political decisions. He has also developed a course on the theory and practice of online participation, a result of which has been a platform allowing students to shape their course curricula.

Tobias Escher is a social scientist with a PhD in Information Science, Communication Studies and the Social Sciences from the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. To asses the opportunities as well as the limitations of digital technologies he can also rely on his basic knowledge of Computer Science. Having previously worked and studied in Oxford, London, Leicester and Berlin, he joined Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf in 2011.